Want a crystal-clear experience with your HTC Vive? Consider enabling supersampling!

The HTC Vive has one of the clearest displays available in today's consumer VR systems, sporting a 2160x1200 resolution (or 1080x1200 per eye). While this provides a mostly clear image in most scenarios, the output of the headset still has a long way to go before matching the clarity of the human eye.

However, provided you have a powerful graphics card which surpasses the minimum requirements for the HTC Vive, a quick tweak can drastically bump the quality of your headset's display. Known as supersampling, this tweak renders the image at a higher resolution than the headset's display, producing a much clearer image overall.

Although a few quick manual edits of SteamVR directories can enable this tweak, the method is not only more convoluted but can damage your SteamVR installation. We recommend using a third-party application for the HTC Vive known as Chaperone Switcher, which keeps editing restricted to a simple user-friendly application.

Here's how to get started with super sampling on your HTC Vive!

  1. Download Chaperone Switcher from the following thread.
  2. Extract the contents of the downloaded ZIP file.
  3. Open the executable called ChaperoneSwitcher.exe.

After Chaperone Switcher has been installed, follow the below steps to enable supersampling.

  1. Navigate to the gear icon in the top left-hand side of the application.
  2. On the overlay that appears, look for a setting called Render Target Multiplier. But default, this will be set to 1, which renders the output at the native resolution of the setup.
  3. To increase the resolution above the preset, change this setting to a number between 1.5 to 2.5. This will render the image between 1.5 and 2.5 times the native resolution but may introduce issues with a consistent framerate. To ensure your framerate stays consistent, we recommend starting at 1.5 and slowing incrementing/decreasing by values of 0.1.
  4. Select Save to apply your changes.

While supersampling will produce overall sharper images, increasing the resolution may introduce new graphical issues not frequently experienced with the headset. By raising the resolution above HTC's recommended value, you may experience general instability, framerate drops, and unwanted on-screen artifacts. Even when using one of NVIDIA's latest cards, the GTX 1080, we struggled to raise the sampling above a 2.5 multiplier.

Have you used supersampling? Impressed by the results? Make sure to let us know in the comments!